History was made yesterday in Ibadan where 21 monarchs were coronated – against the wish of Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Olubadan.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi urged Oba Adetunji to stay away from politics and not allow himself to be used by those he classified as disgruntled elements.
He said: ”We also congratulate the Olubadan of Ibadanland and advise that Kaabiyesi should remain the father of all Ibadan citizens and not allow himself to be used by disgruntled elements as observed in his recent utterances, which tend towards the political. It should be noted that Obas are not expected to play politics.”
The Olubadan was absent at the event following his opposition to the upgrade of 21 former Baales and 11 high chiefs who are members of the Olubadan-in-Council, to Obas’ status.
Each of the 32 upgraded obas bear the “His Imperial Majesty” title.
The governor, who explained that the elevation of the baales and chiefs would in no way affect the status of Oba Adetunji, said his administration was not altering or tinkering with the traditional succession and ascendancy system of the Olubadan chieftaincy structure.
The new monarchs are those whose communities have history of near-independent origin but which are part of the larger Ibadan land.
The governor said: “Each of the high chiefs will now be addressed as “His Royal Majesty” because they are now Obas, the former Baales will be addressed as “His Royal Highness”. All of them are under the Olubadan of Ibadanland.”
“The review of the Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration of 1959, according to Ajimobi, will further elevate the throne of the Olubadan and bring traditional governance closer to the people. The high chiefs will still move up the ladder as vacancies come up.
“In practice, while the high chiefs still maintain their top positions as they operate as Obas, the most senior will be elevated from a second class oba to the position of the Olubadan once there is vacancy.
In all, 21 new obas received their staffs of office at the Mapo Hall amidst fanfare.
Former Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja, who is the Osi Olubadan, who was among the 11 elevated high chiefs, was also absent. The 21 newly crowned Obas include eight high chiefs and 13 Baales.
The new Royal Majesties who received their insignia and instruments of office are: Senator Lekan Balogun, who is also the Otun Olubadan; Akinloye Owolabi Olakuleyin, who is the Osi Balogun ; Tajudeen Ajibola, the Ashipa Olubadan; Oba Eddy Oyewole and the Ekerin Olubadan, Abiodun Kola-Daisi.
Others are: Oba Latifu Gbadamosi Adebimpe, the Asipa Balogun of Ibadanland, Amidu Ajibade, the Ekarun Olubadan of Ibadanland, and Dr. Kolawole Adegbola, the Ekarun Balogun of Ibadanland.
The new Royal Highnesses are: Oba Lasisi Akano, the Onijaye of Ijaye; Ismaila Opeola, the Oniroko of Iroko; Moses Akinyosoye, the Onikereku of Ikereku; Mudasiru Adebayo, the Ololodo of Olodo; and Victor Sunday Okunola, the Elegbeda of Egbeda.
Others are: Oba Gbolagade Babalola the Onido of Ido; Olabamiji Thomas, theAlakufo of Akufo; Wahab Okedina, the Oloke of Okelade-Okin; Dauda Omotoso, the Alawotan of Awotan and Adeboye Salako, the Olofa of Offa. Rafiu Alawusa the Onilagun of Lagun; Tiamiyu Ladipo, the Alaba of Aba-Nla and James Obisesan, the Alakanran of Akanran.